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The Bodleian Library tour, Oxford.

Unfortunately, there were no more 60 minute tours when we arrived in Oxford last week, but we took the 30 minute tour and we’ll have to come back another time to do the longer one. The town was extremely busy, so we booked our tour well in advance and went to the Natural History museum first. It costs £4.50 each, and children have to be over 11 years old, and they don’t do discount prices…

Even my youngest daughter, who has no interest in books what-so-ever seemed to enjoy herself. No-one could fail to be impressed by the massive and ancient books we could see lined up on oak bookshelves that were themselves hundreds of years old. We were given a brief history on how the library began and how that related to other libraries in the country and Europe at the time. Also, how the building and bookshelves had changed and developed over the years.

We only saw two rooms that were on top of each other. The actual library that is upstairs, and the room below, which is used for exams and lessons sometimes; but was the theology classroom, or Divinity school, in its early days. Here we learnt about the carvings on the ceiling; who designed them and what they all meant. I haven’t described the tour very well, but it was a packed full interesting half hour and our guide went over the time slightly, because he knew we were Harry Potter fans, so he told us where some of the scenes were filmed.  The library upstairs was used as Hogwarts library in the first film, and we touched the wooden balustrade where Harry Potter stands at the restricted section in The Philosopher’s Stone. Downstairs, the large room was used as the hospital wing and we stood where Harry’s bed was! The other end was used in the 4th film for their dancing lesson for the Yule ball. So that was quite an exciting bonus for us!

 

Out and About, Places to visit,
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